In a move that could even make the dreadful US News & World Report rankings look good, Superlawyers recently announced it would start rating law schools. http://blog.superlawyers.com/2009/06/articles-1/super-lawyers-to-name-top-law-schools/
In general, this is the type of democratizing of information the legal information desperately needs. And their stated methodology is that employed by Lawdragon, when it began to release law school rankings several years ago. Simply, if you select a respected list of top practitioners and then tally their law schools, you can get a nice gauge of which school holds sway in a particular community. This is valuable information neglected by the folks at US News.
That being said, the announcement still made us shudder in our boots. The nicest thing to be said about Super Lawyers is it is helpful in sorting the opossums from the penguins and one of the only tools (other than Lawdragon) that actually tries to weed through tens of thousands of consumer attorneys to identify those who are the best. It is extraordinarily difficult for people in this country to actually find a good lawyer and we support anyone who tries to provide that information.
Still, Super Lawyers’ selection methods for their cornucopia of counsel are, charitably, suspect. They have made some adjustments recently to cut down on voter fraud (like the LA rising star who was selected for her trial expertise though she had done just one trial, which she lost). But we still wonder at the wisdom of extending the franchise to Super Law Schools.
(Guess it can’t really be worse than US News.)